DIY or Hire a Professional Stationer? Doe$ it make Cent$?
Congratulations on your engagement! After the initial excitement, the work begins! First you must establish a budget, and of course you will buy the most fabulous dress! After you recover from the sticker shock of the cost of a wedding, many brides realize they may have to compromise on something to ensure they do not overspend. But where should you really cut corners?
Most professional wedding planners suggest the easiest way to reduce costs (by up to 20 percent) is to avoid the peak seasons and Saturday evenings. In addition, an estimated $6000+ can be saved by booking a DJ rather than a band. Today’s brides are serious about minimizing costs, and the trend seems to suggest doing it yourself (DIY) is in. Brides who are crafty, artsy, and love the challenge of making something beautiful completely on their own, are capable of printing their own invitations. However, if you do not fall into this category, then think long and hard before you commit your time, energy & money to this task. Doing it yourself can sound like an easy way to save money, and for the trained professional, it makes sense, or should we say “cents”! Your time is valuable, and if the return on your investment is not well compensated, then, seriously think twice before attempting to make them at home. The amount you actually save is often not worth the effort.
It is tempting to pick up a do-it-yourself kit at the local hobby shop. How hard can it be to formulate your text and send it to print? Honestly, you need to be very familiar with your printer and load up on ink in order to produce a product you will be proud to mail. For printing, most metallic paper won’t work well with inkjet printers, so buy test paper first. A color laser prints beautifully on metallic paper and can be purchased for approximately $150; however the toner is very expensive and ultimately may erode away any actual savings. All of these additional costs add up fast!
For those designing an invitation from scratch, you can hire someone on etsy do it, or do it yourself in Corel, Photoshop, Illustrator, Powerpoint or Publisher. Keep in mind that in addition to purchasing quality paper for printing, you will need a heavy-duty card stock cutter to properly slice the invitations. Often times you must rely on the aid of family and friends to coordinate all the details including stuffing and assembling. Plus, don’t forget you need to purchase envelopes to match perfectly (another expense).
You often stop in the local stationery shop to purchase a pre-printed birthday or bridal shower card off the shelf for $3.00, yet hesitate spending that amount on a custom printed wedding invitation? Remember that this is the most important day of your life, and you have a gorgeous dress, venue and ring; you certainly need an invitation that compliments the tone you are dreaming of. The invitation is the actual preview of your special day; it sets the mood of what is to come. Your guests can often determine their attire for your event from the invitation. How do you want them to feel and dress when they attend your wedding?
As I rationalize the reasons why a bride would take on this overwhelming project at such a busy time, I remember that not everyone is aware of how a stationer can actually save you money. A professional stationer has access to numerous vendors for every budget, she knows what products are a good value, and is able to direct you accordingly. The local storefront’s buying power is something you can benefit from, and her expertise in etiquette and trends can help you avoid embarrassing and often costly mistakes. She can resolve any issues that come up with the printer, because you are her customer and your satisfaction determines her success. If you give her a budget, she can show you which particular invitations will work for you. There are so many beautiful options to choose from, and many only look expensive! You can always dress up a very basic invitation she sells with ribbon, jewels, or layers, rather than taking the risk of doing it entirely yourself. Also, check with your bridal salon to see if they offer any invitation incentives when you purchase your dress. It is always to your benefit to keep your purchases local and under one roof, since the shop wants to ensure your online review is five stars!
At Kathryn’s Bridal & Invitations, we can offer significant value to brides who purchase their dress from us. We have a wonderful Invitation & Design Studio with the largest selection to satisfy every price point. In addition, we promise superior customer service and etiquette expertise. Our goal is to ensure each bride is confident that she is in the care of true local professionals who will help make her dream day a reality and within budget. Your time is money and we want to make sure you spend it wisely.
– Kathryn’s Invitation & Design Studio, McHenry, Illinois